I opened my eyes. I pointed my feet forwards and pressed my finger down on the trigger. When the shot came, I did not close my eyes, I did not flinch. I was not afraid.
I looked back up at the round black and white circular target several metres away from me. In the smallest black dot in the middle of the target, there was a hole. There was a bullet.
“Mother?” I whispered.
That night was when the first shots were heard.
The sounds echoed off the walls of the house, waking me in the middle of the night through my window I viewed the street below. There were already people outside, but they weren’t the people I knew lived on our street. They weren’t the people I walked past everyday on my way to get groceries. They were walking down the middle of the street. And every single one of them held guns.
Mother stumbled into my room and her eyes found me standing by the window. She didn’t even need to speak before I was on the other side of the room starting to get out my clothes. I heard the door close as she left me to get ready. I pulled on the first thing that came to my hand. Dark jeans and a simple white top. I had to blend in.
On the way out of my room I grab my combat boots and dark red leather jacket. I remembered the first time mother gave it to me. She said ‘don’t you get any blood on this young lady’.
Mother was already waiting downstairs dressed and ready to go. She sees me and points to the desk in the smallest corner of the room. I study her face closely. There was no emotion, nothing. I pulled out a box from the desk drawer and opened it. The two small guns fit perfectly in either hand. I quickly hid them in the side section inside my jacket, the ones mother had stitched to fit them when she was younger.
“Hurry.” Mother whispered. She crouches by the only window and that’s all she does for a minutes. She watches the street, the people. I try to block out the noise, but it was too hard. People were screaming and yelling. A thousand shots followed everything and it sounded like they would never end. “Come.” Mother pointed to the door at the side of our house. The one that would take us in between the houses and not to the street.
“Mother.” I whispered, finally having built up the courage. She didn’t speak, only looked at me expectantly. “What is happening?” She didn’t have any time to answer.
The door smashed loudly against the wall, it looked like it was about to fly from the door frame. Mother jumped up from her spot but I was closest to the door. The man scowled and reached out for me. I sidestepped and ducked under his arm, grabbing it and twisting it back. He yelped and clutched his arm, dropping his weapon to the floor. Mother was already halfway out the door before he could react, only looking back to make sure I would follow. Our plan to stick to the house allies had been thrown away. So I did.
The street was worse than I imagined. People were scattered around, some knelt over limp bodies, some were shaking or hiding in shop windows. In the house next to ours, there was a loud shot and a scream followed. A man walked out and held his weapon high. He pointed it at people and they coward away or ducked. Then he pointed it at mother. Her weapon was already out and before I could have blinked, the man fell to the floor. He didn’t move again.
More armed men were going in and out of houses and shops, some more stood with their weapons aimed at people, not moving a muscle. Two men looked at mother and started towards us. I slipped away between a house. As soon as they walked past me towards mother, I leapt out and took them both down. People in the street began watching us as we took down the soldiers one by one. Then they started to join in. Soon, there were no more of the soldiers left standing in our section.
Until more came. They marched down the street in four never ending lines. Some broke off to go into houses and shops. We couldn’t stay any longer. My mother ran inside shops and houses on the left, I did the right. Bringing people out and telling them to run. No on needed to be told twice. After we had done as many as we could, the soldiers were too close. Some people were standing still or still hiding in shops, we couldn’t help them anymore. We had to leave. And so we did.
“Where are we going?” I whispered as we slipped away into the darkness between two buildings. My mother didn’t reply, she only kept moving forwards. I quietly followed. “Mother we must go to the next street over.” I finally said. Mother shook her head.
“No, we cannot. He will find his own way.” This time, it had been my time to shake my head.
“No mother I must go find him.” I whisper-yelled.
“He will find us. His father knows where we are going, he will go there too.” She didn’t say anymore, and neither did I. I knew he would find us.
By the time we entered a building, the sun had started to go down.
“We will be safe here.” Mother said. I nodded and followed her in.
Inside, there were already a few people there. Not many, I knew mother wouldn’t have taken the risk of being with too many people. There were a couple people from our street, and I couple from the street over. Some of them had been crying, obviously. I would not. But the one thing I did do was search the room. I let my eyes scan over everything. There wasn’t any sign of him. The door opened again and I rested my hand inside my jacket. But it was a face I had seen many times before. Mother threw her arms around him and gave him a quick hug and pulled away faster than I blinked. I refused to show him any kindness. He hadn’t shown his son any. I smiled and looked behind him to see another face. Only it wasn’t there.
“Where is he?” I asked, only then noticing that Rob hadn’t fake smiled since he walked in. He looked at me and doesn’t answer, so I scowled. “I said, where. Is. He!” I yelled. Rob walked further in and mother closed the door behind him, looking left and right first.
“I don’t know. He was there one second and then... And then he just wasn’t. I went back, I did.” He assured me, though I didn’t believe him. “But I couldn’t find him. He knows where we were going, he’ll find his way.”
Even my mother frowned at his words.
“So what, you just left him?” I was beyond annoyed. Rob didn’t answer. I walked to the door and reached for the handle, but turned back to Rob first. “Since you won’t even risk your life for your son for even one second, I will.” My mother nodded at me, knowing she couldn’t have stopped me even if she tried. Everyone in the building, which was about 15 people, watched. “I’ll come back mother.” I whisper for only her to hear. “But not until he walks through this door with me.”
But when me and my best friend finally walked through the doors side by side. There was no one there to greet us.
Not anyone who was alive.
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